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[Freshwater Aquariums] Rocks for tanks (was Re: New Tank)

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  • Patrick Timlin
    ... Well I am not sure which type of surface they love but usually rough surfaces are a better choice simply because they provide much more over all surface
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 28, 2006
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      --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Sarah White" wrote:
      > and beneficial bacteria love smooth surfaces

      Well I am not sure which type of surface they "love" but usually rough
      surfaces are a better choice simply because they provide much more
      over all surface area (therefore over all more good bateria) than a
      smooth surface.

      Patrick
    • Sarah White
      For synthetic materials, on a microscopic level, everything will be unnaturally smooth and you can use an irregular shape with more surface area: I prefer a
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 29, 2006
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        For synthetic materials, on a microscopic level, everything will be
        unnaturally smooth and you can use an irregular shape with more surface
        area: I prefer a brand of pea-sized pellets, (specially engineered
        bio-filter media) which is designed to have as much surface area as
        possible, while still on a microscopic level being bacteria-friendly.

        For natural materials, smoother has been said to be best. Optimally,
        irregular shaped spheres (irregular to lessen the chances of touching each
        other) ... Smooth, tumbled, rinsed (finely graded for small, uniform pieces)
        gravel would be very good.

        One last note about smooth surfaces: smoother is easier to clean if you're
        using gravel / similar media in an undergravel filter *wink*

        Blessed be,
        Sarah White
        www.louisvillepaganpride.org
        LPPD Site Admin
        webmaster@...

        P.S. I offered the "tumbler and rinse" method because assumed the gravel was
        intended for an undergravel filter.

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        > Patrick Timlin
        > Sent: Monday, August 28, 2006 2:06 PM
        > To: freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [Freshwater Aquariums] Rocks for tanks (was Re: New Tank)
        >
        >
        > --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Sarah White" wrote:
        > > and beneficial bacteria love smooth surfaces
        >
        > Well I am not sure which type of surface they "love" but
        > usually rough
        > surfaces are a better choice simply because they provide much more
        > over all surface area (therefore over all more good bateria) than a
        > smooth surface.
        >
        > Patrick
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
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      • hannahbearsmom
        Hi, I set up a 28 gallon tank on December 12. I used Right Start to condition the water and ran it for 48 hours before adding 6 platties. I added StressZyme
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 19, 2008
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          Hi,

          I set up a 28 gallon tank on December 12. I used Right Start to
          condition the water and ran it for 48 hours before adding 6 platties.
          I added StressZyme on days 1, 7 & 14. I've been doing weekly water
          changes (10%-15%).

          Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate rose slightly, but I never saw a huge
          ammonia spike, I thought my test kit might be bad, so I took some
          water to a pet shop and had it tested. All readings were zero, but I
          was skeptical because the store employee did not appear to know what
          she was doing (i.e., She wanted to read the test tubes immediately. I
          told her to wait 5 minutes. I also think she didn't add teh correct
          number of drops of each solution). The following weekend, I took a
          water sample to an aquarium store. Ammonia was slightly elevated, as
          were nitrites and nitrates -- I don't remember the numbers.

          I did a water change on Monday and re-tested the water on Thursday.
          Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 1, Nitrates: 40.

          My pH is always around 7.6 (straight from the tap). A seemingly
          knowledgable employee at the aquarium suggested adding Proper pH 7.0,
          which hesitantly I did. My pH is now testing at 7.2.

          Thursday evening I notices the aquarium was slightly cloudy. Last
          night it was more cloudy. Its still cloudy this morning. I know that
          cloudiness is common in a cycling aquarium. I'm not sure what I
          should do at this point. Do I continue with the weekly water changes?
          Increase the frequency of water changes? Stop water changes (the guy
          at the aquarium store told me not to do water changes while the tank
          is cycling, but everything I've read says you need to do changes if
          there are fish in the tank)?

          BTW, I'm not a complete newbie, but this is my first tank in about 15
          years. I used to have freshwater and marine aquariums. This tank
          will be a simple community aquarium for my young daughter.

          TIA!
          Laurie
        • Patrick A. Timlin
          ... I can relate to that. It is always a bit of a struggle for me when dealing with pet store employees when I clearly know more about aquariums and fish than
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 19, 2008
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            --- hannahbearsmom <hrcanes1-groups@...> wrote:
            > I thought my test kit might be bad, so I took some
            > water to a pet shop and had it tested. All readings
            > were zero, but I was skeptical because the store
            > employee did not appear to know what she was doing
            > (i.e., She wanted to read the test tubes immediately.
            > I told her to wait 5 minutes. I also think she didn't
            > add teh correct number of drops of each solution).

            I can relate to that. It is always a bit of a struggle for me when
            dealing with pet store employees when I clearly know more about
            aquariums and fish than they do but they try and "school" me on the
            "right" ways to do things when I clearly know they are repeating
            misinformation that is often parroted across the industry. This is of
            course the worst in general pet stores that carry all kinds of
            supplies and animals and the fish department in only a small part of
            the store. Clearly no one can know everything and be an expert in
            Dogs, cats, birds, fish, gerbils, rabbits, snakes, newts, crabs, etc.
            etc. etc. Yes they all get the half hour training from the store and
            think they know it all.

            Anyway, that reminds me of a little tip I thought I would pass along.
            Test kits often use different number of drops. Instructions often get
            separated from the chemical bottle. So first thing I do when I get a
            liquid test kit is to get a Sharpie permanent marker and write the
            number of drops right on the bottle. Or in the case of something like
            a hardness kit, "1 drop = 1dH". Now there is never any confusion of
            how many drops or the long search for the missing instruction page.


            > I did a water change on Monday and re-tested the water on Thursday.
            > Ammonia: 0, Nitrites: 1, Nitrates: 40.
            >
            > My pH is always around 7.6 (straight from the tap). A seemingly
            > knowledgable employee at the aquarium suggested adding Proper pH
            > 7.0, which hesitantly I did. My pH is now testing at 7.2.

            I wouldn't bother. That is another one of those misinformation things
            wide spread in the industry. Pet store employees are OBSESSED that
            proper fish tank water is 7.0 and any deviation is bad and needs to
            be corrected. In reality, if you can find me any body of water in the
            world which has live fish in it and is also right on 7.0, I'll give
            you my 401(k) account. It just doesn't normally happen.

            And 7.6 is not at all extreme and generally tank pH tends to fall
            between water changes anyway.


            > Thursday evening I notices the aquarium was slightly cloudy. Last
            > night it was more cloudy. Its still cloudy this morning. I know
            > that cloudiness is common in a cycling aquarium. I'm not sure what
            > I should do at this point. Do I continue with the weekly water
            > changes?

            Yes cloudy water is very common in the first couple months of setting
            up the tank. You might even experience it to get so cloudy that you
            can not even see the fish in the tank unless they are right up
            against the front glass. But generally it is not hardful and
            generally there is not much you can do to correct it or speed it up
            other than letting it clear itself up. Usually within two weeks it
            will be gone and I have seen tanks that will be milky white one day,
            then I look the next day and it had (literally) overnight gone
            crystal clear.


            > Increase the frequency of water changes? Stop water changes (the
            > guy at the aquarium store told me not to do water changes while the
            > tank is cycling, but everything I've read says you need to do
            > changes if there are fish in the tank)?

            Yes keep up normal partial water changes. Increasing them is fine as
            the fish will be happy, but as I mentioned above, I think you won't
            find that it gets rid of the cloudiness until the cloudiness decides
            to clear up on its own.

            Yes, keep up water changes while cycling. People do say that if you
            do water changes you will slow down the cycling process. I don't buy
            it. As long as there is excess ammonia or nitrite in the tank, the
            cycling process will continue. Even if you do a water change and
            halve the level of ammonia and nitrite, it is still an excess, so
            there is still plenty for the beneficial bacteria to convert and
            multiple on.


            > TIA!
            > Laurie

            Good luck Laurie!


            Patrick Timlin
            http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
          • hannahbearsmom
            Thanks, Patrick. I did a 15% water change and now my numbers are as follows: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0.5, Nitrate 10. I think things are headed in the right
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 19, 2008
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              Thanks, Patrick.

              I did a 15% water change and now my numbers are as follows: Ammonia
              0, Nitrite 0.5, Nitrate 10. I think things are headed in the right
              direction.

              One more question. When my numbers go to zero, can I add fish even if
              the water is still cloudy, or should I wait until the water clears?
              Right now there are three plattys in there (there were originally six,
              but three died during the cycling process).

              I'm currently using the API Master Test Kit, and the number of drops
              required is printed on each bottle. I didn't realize that not all
              test kits have that info on the bottles.

              Laurie

              --- In freshwateraquariums@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick A. Timlin"
              <ptimlin@...> wrote:

              > Anyway, that reminds me of a little tip I thought I would pass along.
              > Test kits often use different number of drops. Instructions often get
              > separated from the chemical bottle. So first thing I do when I get a
              > liquid test kit is to get a Sharpie permanent marker and write the
              > number of drops right on the bottle. Or in the case of something like
              > a hardness kit, "1 drop = 1dH". Now there is never any confusion of
              > how many drops or the long search for the missing instruction page.


              > Yes cloudy water is very common in the first couple months of setting
              > up the tank. You might even experience it to get so cloudy that you
              > can not even see the fish in the tank unless they are right up
              > against the front glass. But generally it is not hardful and
              > generally there is not much you can do to correct it or speed it up
              > other than letting it clear itself up. Usually within two weeks it
              > will be gone and I have seen tanks that will be milky white one day,
              > then I look the next day and it had (literally) overnight gone
              > crystal clear.
              >
              >

              > Yes keep up normal partial water changes. Increasing them is fine as
              > the fish will be happy, but as I mentioned above, I think you won't
              > find that it gets rid of the cloudiness until the cloudiness decides
              > to clear up on its own.
              >
              > Yes, keep up water changes while cycling. People do say that if you
              > do water changes you will slow down the cycling process. I don't buy
              > it. As long as there is excess ammonia or nitrite in the tank, the
              > cycling process will continue. Even if you do a water change and
              > halve the level of ammonia and nitrite, it is still an excess, so
              > there is still plenty for the beneficial bacteria to convert and
              > multiple on.
              >
              >
              > > TIA!
              > > Laurie
              >
              > Good luck Laurie!
              >
              >
              > Patrick Timlin
              > http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
              >
            • Patrick A. Timlin
              ... I think you would be ok since the test kits are not measuring anything. On the other hand, if you could give it a few more days to clear, there would be no
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 21, 2008
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                --- hannahbearsmom <hrcanes1-groups@...> wrote:
                > One more question. When my numbers go to zero, can I add fish
                > even if the water is still cloudy, or should I wait until the
                > water clears?

                I think you would be ok since the test kits are not measuring
                anything. On the other hand, if you could give it a few more days to
                clear, there would be no harm done other than to your patience! :)


                > I'm currently using the API Master Test Kit, and the number of
                > drops required is printed on each bottle. I didn't realize that
                > not all test kits have that info on the bottles.

                Ya the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals line, for example, don't indicate
                number of drops of the bottles, at least not if they haven't changed
                anything on their packaging in the last few years.


                Patrick Timlin
                http://www.geocities.com/ptimlin/
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